Preparing for the presentation to the market actors

by Laura and Maria


The whole morning was dedicated to plan the stakeholders’ meeting. After a hard effort during the previous day and night, our material was ready! We had just completed our product design: vision, project, variables, implementation and sustainability issues. But we still had to design the presentation and print the posters! The groups with the different scenarios gathered all information together and hold a test presentation. We identified issues in the visualization of the presentation that we discussed within the groups but also with our tutors. As members of a big team, we defined what each person had to do for the meeting with the stakeholders. We made sure that everyone in the team had a specific role: presenters, notetakers, reporters, model animators and poster masters. We had to work quickly and efficiently until the last moment in order to have everything ready when the market actors arrived.

It was time to present the project to the stakeholders! We left Uni Norte to meet the stakeholders at the Caribbean Museum, but we had not imagined the surprise which awaited us on our arrival to the meeting place: a non-ventilated room in the bottom of the museum!

Environmental issues in the Mercado

By Laura, Diostenes, Greys

In order to be prepared for the future pitch, we continued working hard in the expertise groups (logistics, urban planning, poster design, environment and governance) and tried to include as much inputs as possible into our scenarios. The environmental group had the chance to finally meet the professor for urban water management of the Universidad del Norte, Humberto Ávila Rangel, who made us discover interesting information about Barranquilla’s water management.

An astonishing fact we found out was that instead of a clear policy about water quality, all the effort and focus steer to capture and channel the water as soon as possible. For example did the university develop a tool, monitoring the rainfall amounts at several stations within Barranquilla ( in order to get knowledge about how arroyos are formed during events of heavy rainfall. However, the wastewater treatment plant of Barranquilla, in operation since 2009, covers a primary treatment for 2/3 of the cities inhabitants, removing mainly all floatables.

Furthermore, although a sewage pipe-system already exists in the market, there are still several wrong informal discharges, which are not connected to the sewage network. Based on the fact that the market is only one meter above sea level, it is impossible to reach high flow velocities of the water in the ‘caño’. This scenario creates a chaotic hygiene situation, since when getting polluted; it is almost incapable of recovering itself due to the low water exchange rate.

Another crucial key message was the fact, that covering the caño because of its smell and its attractiveness as a waste disposal location, would not only be hardly socially acceptable, but would also erase a significant part of Barranquilla’s (market) history.

Working until midnight

by María Fernanda and Sergio


After agreeing on the final details of each scenario on Tuesday morning, in the afternoon all the deliverables needed to be finished. These included a presentation and various posters which will be presented at the meetings with stakeholders and decision makers. The presentation includes the following six slides: vision, project, implementation, variables, sustainability and a team picture. The difficulty was to concentrate all the ideas and specifications of the project in only these six slides. Maps, figures, tables and text were realized by the students and be delivered to the visualization team. While the visualization team designed the layout for presentation and poster, another group of students was in charge of finding an agreement for the most important variables which should be showed during the presentation. Time was running and everybody put in a great effort to finish things on time. Nevertheless the deadline at 5:30 pm was too optimistic. But after a tasty pizza things got better. At 11:30 pm all the posters were ready for printing and the students finally left the campus.

Teamwork at its best

by Henry and Daniella


This afternoon the students group was divided into the areas of specialty: architecture, environmental sciences, engineering, designers, among others; with the goal to define the different features of each scenario that will be presented to the stakeholders on Wednesday. Each discipline worked on the specificities associated to their discipline; designers-visualization, architects-urban planning, environmental sciences-environmental issues, engineers-traffic, international relations-economic data and so on. Working with people that speak the same “language” (discipline wise), that can give you feedback about subjects you are all familiar with, facilitates production. Though, it was also very important that each disciplinary group communicated with the other groups to share information. We noticed how much we depended on each other since some groups couldn’t move on without the others input; we also had to make sure everyone was on the right page and aiming towards the same goal. At the end of the day everyone got a clearer concept of their scenario; new variables were defined apart from the ones that were shown in the morning, which helped describe the scenarios and imagine a broader picture in our heads. Activities done in the market, formality, public space, type of users, densification and symbolic identity were taken into account. With that being said, Tuesday should be very a productive day!

First sketches of scenarios for Barranquilla’s Market

By Andrea Barrero & Mikal Müller

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The second week of the Summer School started at once with a rather intense Monday morning during which the three groups deepened their scenario development. Each group then presented the basic idea of the chosen scenario including also the necessary variables for its description. The result out of this first round were three scenarios with already quite a good variety of different aspects. Still, all of them have to be defined more clearly. Especially the collected variables had to be standardized in order to make them applicable to all three scenarios, so that comparability between the scenarios later can be ensured. Not exactly a trivial task, as it turned out during the discussion. All results were then again presented and discussed in plenum.


The first rough draft of scenarios for this morning ranged from the creation of a contemporary market with relocation of the wholesale market through a gentle transformation, building on the existing right up to maintaining the actual state with targeted improvements focusing especially on a participatory process. Following the presentation each group was given a short feedback and hints on how to proceed, not only from the tutors and professors, but also from students of the other groups. It was clear that an afternoon of hard work was still waiting for us…

Why is it that cold?

by Stefan Breit

To recharge our batteries, we spend a day at the beach in Cartagena. But a free weekend doesn’t prevent us from reflecting about the daily life in Colombia. Especially among Swiss students, a popular topic to discuss is the constant use of air conditioning in all indoor spaces. A central air conditioner (AC) is generally used to alter the properties of air to more comfortable conditions, namely to improve thermal comfort and indoor air quality. In common use, an air conditioner is a device that lowers the air temperature. And logically, this process needs much energy. To calculate how much energy we use during our stay in the hotel and how much this costs, a simple energy use calculator is used.

It’s assumed, that an AC is used for 8 hours overnight, the average power consumption of the device is 860 watt and a kWh costs 0.94 USD. This results in a consumption of 6.88 kWh/day and costs 0.65 USD/day. It’s simple to calculate the 9.10 USD, which needs to be paid for the two weeks – only for cooling purposes in my room.

This amount might seem insignificant. But imagine the countless indoor spaces in the city of Barranquilla, which are cooled down. And we not only talk about rooms, we also talk about cars and buses. In tropical countries, the cooling costs can be significant, around 70% of the electricity bill.

But we as Swiss should not judge this issue. In contrast to the sun seeking Swiss population, Colombians like to hang around in cooled down indoor spaces like shopping malls or other sun protected areas. That’s ok. We also use much energy and money for heating purposes. But still, to have to wear long pants and a sweater in a bus because it’s that cold is as perverse as wearing a T-Shirt in the living room during the winter in Switzerland.


by Alessio

Early in the morning, the bus with all the Swiss students and some of the Colombian students left Barranquilla for Cartagena. Once at destination, Prof. Luis Carlos Zúñiga Liñán and his students from the communications department of the local university Utadeo welcomed us in Cartagena. Prof. Liñán kindly gave us an overall picture of the city and the local market. Then, in small groups and accompanied by local students, we visited the “Mercado de Bazurto” in a busy, hot, and humid Saturday. The market, compared to the Barranquilla’s Market seemed to be better organized and in some areas better preserved. Stunning was to see the different sellers with their good somehow divided in categories spread around the market. We noticed that there has been an effort to try to formalize the informal vendors that crowd the Barranquilla Market. Still, hygienic standards are not at the top levels, especially concerning the meat market. But the general feeling among us students was that the visit to the market, was totally worth it.


For lunch, we went to a traditional Colombian restaurant where we met Philip Wright from the Observatorio del Caribe. During a bus tour through the poor areas of Cartagena, Philip gave us even a better insight into the problems of Cartagena. Especially when it comes to the infrastructure and the validity of some political decisions, Cartagena seems to have some unsolved issues.

The day was long intensive and very warm… And what’s better than sharing our experiences while having a cocktail on the historic city walls of Cartagena and watch the romantic sunset?!

A night out in Barranquilla

By Angelica & Max

On Friday night the Colombians guided the summer school group through the nightlife in Barranquilla. We all met at Frog nightclub. A screen as big as a bam door and the excessive use of the AC lead to the “imaginary” of a cinema inside a refrigerator. I dare claim that the place has been decorated by a relatively poorly gifted designer. This may be one reason why we made up rather more than half of the guests. But this is all not of high importance. What matters is the creation of a sociable atmosphere. For these situations Colombia’s national drink – Aguardiente – was invented. This is some kind of “Schnapsch” with a taste similar to poison. Supported by Aguardiente the Colombians could successfully manage the Swiss to move a little bit and some almost danced! All in all everybody had a great time.